Estes Super Vega Repair

Estes Super Vega is the upscale version of the Estes Starship Vega (kit #1320). It was designed by Wayne Kellner and first offered in the 1979 catalog for $6.50. The Super Vega (kit #2036) released in 1990 and is 36″ in height compared to the Starship Vega at 20″. Mine has flown great for years but would take some serious damage on the landing pods and the legs were constantly breaking off. I previously wrapped the landing pods in fiberglass. Now to work on those legs.

First up, saw off the legs. I felt like I was in a Stephen King movie. Next I found a 5/16″dowel to replace the original 1/8″dowels. I used a 5/16″ drill bit to drill holes just to the side of the old dowels in the pods

I decided on 5 1/2″ to cut each dowel to closely resemble the old set-up. I squirted some Gorilla Wood Glue in the holes and slid each dowel into place and let them dry.

With all three in place and dry, I checked to make sure the rocket would stand level. If it had of been off I could have sawed off the culprit to even things up.

From the “don’t ever throw anything away” category I gathered the centers from those cardboard Estes centering rings, 9 x 24mm and 6 x 18mm. I used my centering tool to mark for a hole in the 9 x 24mm pieces.

I used the same 5/16″ drill bit to make the holes. On 3 of the 18mm pieces cut your hole off center. Push each one onto the dowel legs and place some glue at the base of the pods. Press these 3 into place where the dowel leaves the pod for support and let dry. (See three photos up) Next place 3 x 24mm rings on each leg. Wipe some wood glue between each one and press together at the bottom of the dowels. Place the undrilled 18mm pieces at the very bottom in the center. Holding them firmly with my fingers for a minute or two did the trick.

I then painted the rocket with Rust-oleum Painters Touch 2X Ultracover Paint + Primer. I had never applied the original peel and stick decals, so the next day I cut them all out and placed them I then sprayed the rocket, 2 times, with Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane. It looks good now and should be less brittle on the landings, we’ll see. I’ll report on the Super Vega Repair on my next Rocket Launch post.

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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